Secret Reporters

“It was on a bright Sunday afternoon (October 02, 2016) that I received a congratulatory email from NITDA confirming that I was successful in the rigorous scholarship aptitude test I wrote on Wednesday (9/28/2016), 9am at Public Service Institute (PSIN) Dutsen Alhaji, Abuja. I was elated by the great news and my hope for continuing my studies up to the postgraduate level was revived.  That was my first time of visiting Abuja”, an elated Nigerian who wrote the exams of National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) told Secret Reporters.

But this jubilation is fast turning into sorrow as the agency is about denying them what they merited for no concrete reason, Secret Reporters has learnt.

Following their success in the exam, the candidates representing their respective states and geo-political zones were invited for a one-on-one interview and credentials sighting which did not hold on the said day due to the change in administration of the agency. They were told to go back home with assurance that they will be contacted.

Days passed, weeks went by and months elapsed and none of them received any correspondence from NITDA. Some of the scholars decided to follow up and inquire about the status quo by contacting notable staffs of NITDA but were however persuaded and kept assuring them that they haven’tbeen forgotten but were doing all that is necessary.

On one occasion, they were told that the reason for the delay was because they are negotiating with international institutions for their admission. This rekindled their spirits and kept our hopes alive. They came up again with another tale that they are waiting for the budget to be passed before they will eventually be contatcted officially.

When the budget was passed and NITDA was contacted, they came up with another story of how their fiscal year was different from that of the country that theirs would commence August.

“We continue contacting them but they resorted into complicated tactics in a bid to sideline us. In the advertisement, it was stated that the scholarship would be local which we fully understood before we rolled in our applications (although the reason for the change to local seemed unbecoming).  We were also aware that the country was in recession, which was one of the reasons we received from NITDA. But it can’t be so bad that a nation won’t be able to provide scholarship to absorb its own citizens into its own institutions”, a candidate lamented.

After wasting about a year of their lives, hoping that they will be sent on the scholarship, NITDA sent them a letter on September 5th 2017 terminating every engagement with them and urged them to wait for next year exercise.

Secret Reporters obtained the message sent to them in the course of the tortuous journey, which is reproduced below.

Following your application for the NITDEF Scholarship, you are hereby invited for a Computer-based Aptitude Test on 9/28/2016 by 9am at Public Service Institute (PSIN) Dutsen Alhaji, Abuja.
Compulsory requirements: Valid ID, Application Printable Page and Employment letter as lecturer from University for PhD Applicants.
Accept our Congratulations.
Note: PhD is for Lecturers Only

Dear applicant,
Following your performance during the Just concluded aptitude test, you are hereby invited for a one on one interview on the 4th of October by 10am @NITDA HQ, Abuja.
You are to come with your originals credentials for sighting, which includes your
Valid Identification
Accept our Congratulations.
[9/7, 12:41 PM] ‪+234 809 088 1582: This is the normal flow of the process

It is clearly stated on the scholarship link

1) The Agency places an advert in two National dailies.
2) The Agency opens the portal ( for application, which will be open for 6 weeks from the date of advent.
3) Qualified applicants are shortlisted to write an aptitude test and contacted via email and SMS.
4) Successful applicants are notified through email and SMS.
5) Verification of original certificates and oral interview of successful applicants.
6) Release of award letters to successful candidates.

A twitter agitation by the scholars has twisted the hands of the agency with a letter sent on 7th September 2017 and signed by one Eniola A.A that they will be accommodated for the 2017/2018 scheme.


Secret Reporters

When his older brother at Western Boys High School, Benin-City died in 1971, the 16 year-old Victor Ogiemwonyi who was in Form 3 at Eghosa Boys Grammer School Benin, made a vow not only to lead his household to the promise-land, but also to bring along all flatterers and cheerleaders.

And his first job was to manage briefly in 1975, his uncle’s petrol station at Mission Road  by Dawson Street, opposite the ancestral home of Chief Gauis Obaseki of Benin. He was shortly helped to Wilberforce University, Ohio USA in January 1976 but the paucity of funds forced him to relocate to Texas Southern Univ. Houston where school fees were far cheaper and the big city job opportunities were far higher. He graduated in 1979 in Accountancy and capped it up in 1981 with an MBA.

We have obtained his school transcripts and noted that the said financial whizkid was not exactly the intelligent student except in the final courses in Accounting. Our curiosity led us to investigate his unusual good performance in these latter Accounting courses; only to find out he was a close pal to the Accounting lecturer of those courses. No wonder his records in ICAN shows he woefully flunked ICAN professional examinations many times in Nigeria -Mr Lecturer was not anywhere to help him scale through. But he did scale through National Youth Service Corp -NYSC -as nobody ever really flunks the NYSC. He also scaled through the Industrial Training Fund (ITF) Lagos interview by whiskers where he actually started his working career.

And with the help of a Mr Aluyi, the Personnel Manager of Alibert Furnitures, Lagos, Victor opened a Cafeteria there with his cousin. That supplemented his meagre income at ITF. By the grace of his influential wife, a banker with an MBA too, he was sneaked into NAL Merchant Bank, Lagos in 1986 where he became exposed to Finance and Investments. He warmed up to the Banking Boys of the time in Lagos. And reaching the mountain top and into the skies became his new ambition.

Thus, by the middle of 1990, the plans to form Partnership Investments was being finalized at the office of Mr Osakwe Agbontaen, his printer pal at Onipan, Lagos as well as other joints of the Boys (Alan Omorogbe, Emman Aluyi, Kingsley Oghogho, Ernest Edonmwonya, Prince Eweka, Ernest Osagie etc) in Lagos and Benin-City. Finally, Partnership Investment was incorporated in 1991 and by February 1993, it has been registered by the Nigerian Securities Exchange Commission to perform Issuing House as well as Broker/Dealer functions of the Nigerian Stock Exchange. This was the noble beginning of Partnership Investment.

All was fair and good. By February 1998, Partnership opened a branch office in Benin-city at 1, Gulf Course Road signaling the real beginning of inglorious trend of questionable operations and reckless expenditures of funds.

The questionable operational activities and expenditures included un-authorized sales of shares, non-remittance of proceeds of sales of shares, with-holding of dividends and other benefits, failure/refusal to liquidate investments into special schemes floated. The Schemes founded to perpetuate the fraud include Managed Investment Deposit Account  (MIDAS), Partnership Opportunity Fund (POPFUND), Partnership Securities Deposit Account (PSDA), Partnership Capital Management Ltd, Micro-Credit Schemes and others. Even the Securities Brokerage Account (SBA), the main activity of Partnership was fraught with irregularities.

Partnership that became a member of the Nigerian Stock Exchange in 1995, expanded too rapidly especially with its low calibre of inefficient managers. From only ten employees in 1991, its personnel rose to over 100 in less than 20 years of its specilized close-circuit financial activities. Offices were extended not only to Benin, but also to Abuja and Port Harcourt.

Partnership became too large to be controlled by its largely untrained and unprofessional staff. It became a liquid venture awashed with constant inflow of short-term funds of depositors and investors which management was investing on long-term economic assets and personal aggrandizement. Partnership made tons of money in co-managing the raising of new equity of N1.5 billion for New Nigerian Bank in 2001. It was also the Chief Consultant to Edo State  Micro-Credit Scheme; an avenue from where Partnership subsidiary SBDC Mico-Finance Company sprang to life. Mr Ogiemwonyi had more than good patronage from Edo State Government of Governor Igbinedion. These were the good days before the bubble burst.

The Central Bank of Nigeria through its Financial Institute Supervisory Dept. (OFISD) started co-ordinating a joint examination on the activities of Partnership. And the Securities Economic Commission also launched an official investigation (SEC/ENF/INIV/CMOF/4284/16) into Partnership activities. The investigation culminated on a three-page publication in the NATION newspaper of Friday, May 20, 2017 titled ”Memorandum of Facts” where over 66 facts of their investigations were itemized.

The story continues…


Wilson Junior

The Executive Chairman Delta State Board of Internal Revenue DBIR Sir Monday John Onyeme and other DBIR Board Members, in other to boost the Revenue Generation of the State met with Chevron Contractors on Tuesday.

Onyeme in his welcome address yesterday thanked the Chevron Contractors for honouring the invitation. He said the DBIR Board will no longer tolerate any form or act of defaulting taxes by any company noting that the board has already set up all measures to seal off any company who is found guilty of Tax Evasion/Defaulters.

While calling on the informal sectors not to see payment of taxes as a punishment but as a civic obligation that is backed by the law, he called on all to support Dr Ifeanyi Okowa’s led administration by paying their taxes regularly.

Also speaking, the DBIR Board member representing Delta Central Hon Solomon Ighrakpata revealed that the DBIR Board will soon commence verification exercise noting that once they are done with the verification exercise and any company is found defaulting; will face the weight of the law.

The DBIR Board member representing Delta South Senatorial District Chief (Dr) Barry Pere Gbe who moved the vote of thanks, appreciated Chevron Nigeria Limited and her contractors for their commitment, he assures the Companies of improved communication between them and the Board.”DBIR Board will from time to time inform Chevron on the response of her contractors as regards to prompt tax payment ” he stated.